June 27, 2014 -
After years of planning and collaborating with regional partners, crews are now building a 1.7-mile stretch of new South Knoxville greenway along the Tennessee River that within a decade hopefully will extend to and connect with Maryville greenways.
The $1.65 million Phase I of the Knox Blount Greenway will stretch from the J.E. "Buck" Karnes Bridge to the south side of Marine Park. It will boast two pedestrian bridges, 270 linear feet of gabion wall and some of Knoxville's best views of the Tennessee River.
Once additional sections of greenway are built in coming years by Knox County, Blount County and the state of Tennessee, runners and bicyclists will be able to get from downtown Knoxville and the Neyland Greenway without interruption into downtown Maryville, about 18 miles away.
"This is a terrific example of joint planning, regional collaboration at its best, where everyone works together to accomplish a shared vision that will really serve the residents of Knox and Blount counties," City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh said. "Plus, the great views of the river will be something special."
The project design was coordinated with the University of Tennessee Cherokee Farms Infrastructure Project, the UT Golf Facility Project and the UT Bank Stabilization Project. Easements were obtained from the state Department of Transportation, UT, Knox County, the Department of the Navy and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Most of the funding for the project comes from two Tennessee Department of Transportation grants. The City provided a 20 percent match to secure the grants.
Knoxville's nature lovers are asked to remain patient and stay clear of the construction zone. They'll get their first taste of the greenway when it opens next spring.
Check out a map of the City's network of greenways at http://www.cityofknoxville.org/greenways/greenwaysmap.pdf.